Thursday, October 31, 2013


We love having people come visit us in Spokane. Rich's family comes up often enough since his parents live here, too. But we don't often get visitors from my side because we're the only ones up here. So, when my sister said she wanted to come visit during her son's fall break, I got really excited! She and her three children (Max - 6, Lola - 3, and Hugh - 15 months) came up two weeks ago with my mom, and Rich and I did our best to show them the sites of Spokane.

Norah wasted no time warming up to my mom again, so Lola had to share her "Gwama."

We had a lot of drive time, so when Rich was at work, I crammed into the Kirtleys' awesome new van, snug between Max and Lola in the back.

 Lola and I got to practice our selfie skills in the backseat. 

 Norah and Hoo-ay Hoo-ay (that's what Lola used to call him, and the name has stuck with me), were champs - most of the time.

And, of course, car time often turns into nap time.

We made sure to stop by Riverfront Park, but the Carousel closed right before we got there (who closes a carousel at 5 PM on a Friday night?!). The kids still enjoyed the giant wagon slide, though.

We tried Rock City Grill downtown, which was actually pretty good. Norah was digging the breadsticks.

And what vacation is complete without a trip to Costco?

On their last day here, we headed out to Greenbluff for the Harvest Festival. It was ridiculously crowded, but the kids had fun, which is what matters, right?

 Aren't these Kirtley Crazies just adorable? Such a great mix of their mom and dad.

The driver of this cow train was kind of crazy, but he toned it down when the littles were on board.

For some reason, Norah rebelled against her stroller, but was perfectly happy to be in the cheap-o umbrella one. Whatever. Hugh was happy to trade with her.

Hoo-ay got a little tired, but he was still such a pleasant little boy. Norah could use some lessons.

 Max and Lola braved the Haunted House. I love their triumphant looks as they emerged.

We even did the corn maze, which thankfully had a shorter path option so we weren't wondering around for hours on end.

We had tons of fun with the Kirtleys, but all good things have to end. I hope the Kirtleys only have good things to say about Spokane so more of my family will decide to come visit!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Family Pictures

The last time we took family pictures, Norah was 7 months old. She couldn't run away (heck, she couldn't even crawl yet), and she liked being held. Needless to say, taking pictures with a 17-month old is a completely different experience.

I have decided to divide this post into two different sections. First, you'll see the good ones, the ones that will end up on Facebook and our Christmas card. Then, you'll see the mishaps, most of which I find quite hilarious.

Here are the good ones:


Norah wasn't cooperating for this one, but I still kind of like it. 

This is probably my favorite of all of them. 

I love Norah's smile in this one because she's actually showing her teeth! 

 And then she just looks super cute in these with the pumpkins (don't mind our reflections in the door).

Okay, so those are the good, normal ones. These next ones show more of what it's like taking pictures with our rather crazy child who reached emotional extremes in our hour-long photo shoot.

When I saw this picture, I immediately thought of this:

Does anybody else see it, or is it just me?

We went to Finch Arboretum, where there was plenty of space for her to run like crazy! 

Okay, now watch the progression of Norah's hand in these next three, and also notice her facial expressions.

I can't stop laughing at it! 

 "No, I will not sit still!"

And, we were definitely not without tears. She's a pretty good pouter, which I'm not sure is a compliment.

I guess this is just the way family pictures will go from now on. I might as well get used to it.